Google faces new antitrust case in India over abuse in good TVs market: Sources

NEW DELHI: Alphabet Inc’s Google is going through a brand new antitrust case in India through which the U.S. tech big is alleged to have abused its Android working system’s place within the good tv market, a supply and two attorneys concerned within the case advised Reuters.

The case is Google’s fourth main antitrust problem in India, one in all its key markets the place it’s at the moment going through public criticism from native startups for implementing sure insurance policies and firm costs they contend harm their progress.

It additionally comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges in the US, and a possible antitrust probe in China that’s set to look into the way it allegedly makes use of its dominance of its Android cellular working system to stifle competitors. Google has denied any wrongdoing.

The Competitors Fee of India (CCI) has since June been trying into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating limitations for companies wanting to make use of or develop modified variations of Android for good TVs, corresponding to Amazon Hearth TV’s working system, in response to the supply, who has direct information of the case.

The case has been filed by two Indian antitrust attorneys, Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand. They each confirmed the case submitting towards Google for alleged abuse within the good tv market, however declined to remark additional.

The supply stated the CCI had directed Google to submit its written responses to the allegations and that the corporate has sought extra time.

A Google spokesman declined remark, for the reason that case with the antitrust physique was pending. Amazon and the CCI didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Not like Indian court docket circumstances, filings and particulars of circumstances reviewed by the CCI should not disclosed publicly.

The antitrust watchdog may order a wider investigation towards Google if it finds advantage within the allegations, or throw out the case utterly.

Sensible TVs, or WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for streaming companies like Netflix and YouTube, have turn into more and more fashionable in India.

Information from Counterpoint Analysis exhibits eight million good TV units have been offered in India in 2019. Three in 5 good TVs offered in India are based mostly on Google’s Android system, which additionally powers almost 99% of India’s half a billion smartphone consumer base.

The newest case alleges that Google’s agreements with corporations corresponding to Xiaomi and TV producer TCL India successfully cease them from utilizing each the Android system and a modified model of it on totally different gadgets they make, in response to the supply.

For instance, if an organization sells smartphones based mostly on Google’s Android, it can not promote good TVs working on competing platforms just like the Amazon Hearth TV system, in response to the case towards the Mountain View, California-based firm, the supply stated.

And in reverse, if an organization’s good TV is utilizing Amazon’s Hearth working system, then that firm is restricted from providing Google’s fashionable Play Retailer or the Google maps app on its smartphones.

Xiaomi India and TCL India, which is a part of China’s TCL Know-how Group Corp, are each celebration to the case together with Google. Xiaomi didn’t reply to requests for remark whereas TCL declined to remark.

In 2018, the CCI fined Google 1.36 billion rupees($18.5 million) for “search bias,” however an organization enchantment towards that’s pending. The CCI final yr additionally began probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant place to scale back the flexibility of smartphone makers to go for alternate variations of its Android system.

Earlier this yr, the CCI began reviewing a case alleging that Google abuses its market place to unfairly promote its cellular funds app within the nation.


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